Profile picture for homedreamer1

Do I need a Buyer's Agent to buy a house?

  • March 29 2011 - Calabasas
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Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (406)

Profile picture for TriWest
Thank God for Buyer's Agents in certain situations. I have a listing that is upgraded home with pool that I spend much time with Seller who came in with below market price since he had already took job in another state.

Buyer's agent came in with over $15,000 below list price and
wanting new SS refrigerator, new washer and dryer, all media equipment, all drapes and rods, even matching bedspread. Seller and I have tried to remain civil with response rather than reject. In negotiations, there is a point below resistance in to area of insult.

I do like to maintain some creditability in our profession; I am so glad I did not have to go to intermediary position - that Buyer's agent is responsible to the Buyer and I am responsible to Seller.
  • May 29 2011
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Profile picture for Ruidoso Annie
It is a good idea to have some one watching your back and looking out for your best interests. A good agent is worth it.
  • May 29 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
LOL hpvanc....

Dunes-Not an Agent
Free Agency
Serving Chili Dogs and French Fries
555-555-1111
DUH, Woo-Hoo & Yikes Certified


  • May 27 2011
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Profile picture for hpvanc
Thank you for asking.

I agree with Sunnyview and Dunes!

Hope this helps.
  • May 27 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
Ditto Sunnyview!
  • May 27 2011
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Ditto Nick !
  • May 27 2011
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A Real Estate Agent is not necessary for a buyer during the transaction especially if you a seasoned homebuyer.  I do however strongly suggest everyone buying a home property does use one.  It's always a good idea to use someone to battle for you during negotiations.  Something many people don't understand is when a buyer approaches a Listing Agent for a property, no matter how pleasant and endearing that Agent may be, THAT AGENT IS NOT WORKING FOR YOU.  The Listing Agents responsibility is primarily to the Seller and is obligated to do everything they can to get the seller the highest price and best terms.  This often makes very one sided deals, which are to the buyer disadvantage and many times buyers don't know any better.  The Buyer's Agent is responsible to help the buyer negotiate these terms and ensure that the buyer is getting a fair deal and inform that buyer if they are not.  If one is to use a true Buyer Agent, ask for credentials.  I would recommend to use Agents have in addition to their experience certified designations.  CBR (Certified Buyer's Representative) & ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative) would be such designations and look for them on the Agents Business Cards and Literature.  Note it is illegal for Real Agents to falsely use this designation without first completing all of the requirements set by their State and/or the NAR.   Basically as long as you choose your Agent right they can only be an asset.  Please note that they buyer agent's commission is negotiated most of the time to be paid by the seller.

  • May 27 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"However, I have heard horror stories from buyers who did not use their own agent."

Funny, I have also heard horror stories from people who used a buyer's agent. The main thing that buyers should look for is an honest agent. While using the listing agent comes with special caveats, hiring a buyer's agent does not guarantee no disclosure problems. It is buyer beware and due diligence no matter who your agent is.

Seeking a professional, experienced, honest and market wise agent is the best thing that a buyer can do.
  • May 27 2011
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A " Buyer's Agent" fidiciuary duty is to his/her buyer. Remember the "seller" hired a listing agent to help sell their home, of course the agent has an obligation to be ethical and honest in their transactions. However, I have heard horror stories from buyers who did not use their own agent. Many times, a buyer may think they will get a better deal if they use the listing agent. However, it could potentially cost you thousands of dollars and potential lawsuits in the future. Recently , I met someone who bought a home and when a rain storm came their roof started to leak. This buyer had used the listing agent instead of using a buyer's agent . Now this homeowner feels cheated and believes there were problems that were not disclosed to him. In addition, he was never even offered a home warranty. My motto is " I rather be safe than sorry" , a buyer's agent is no cost to you and if anything can save you future headaches.  Your home is your largest investment. Let a specialist have your back!
 
Anna Maria Kitras, Broker Associate 
Weichert Realtors, Hoshaw & Associates
Serving the Sotuhbay and Los Angeles Area
  • May 27 2011
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Why wouldn't you want one?  You pay no fees to a buyer's agent (usually).  And someone will be on your side.  Don't go it alone!

Oren Barkan
Rodeo Realty
Calabasas
  • May 27 2011
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Profile picture for TriWest
All Realtors are required to treat all parties fairly and with honesty. However, a listing agent for the seller is restricted from sharing certain information with a Buyer, especially if it might influence the offer that a Buyer makes.

On the other hand, if you have a Realtor who is your representative in the transaction, that Realtor is required to share with you all pertinent information that may make a difference in the Buyer's offer.

e.i., will the Seller's agent tell you it can be bought for less? No! Will the Seller's agent tell you there is another property with same floor plan that is upgraded that can be bought for same or less? No!

Thus, if you as a Buyer think you can obtain the most information from the Seller's Agent because they are the most familiar with the property;

As Mark Twain said, "  ...... it just ain't so!
  • May 27 2011
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Its not absolutely necessary, however, it would be a great idea since this agent would have your best interest in the process.
  • May 26 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
"Using the Zillow Advice forum to advertise is strictly prohibited in the Zillow Good Neighbor Policy, located at GNP "Please don't post inappropriate stuff: Spam, advertising, or self-promotional content is not allowed in Zillow Advice. This includes, but is not limited to, any contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, or website URLs." As part of this policy, Zillow prohibits those posting in Zillow Advice from including any contact information in their posts.

 If you feel that something you posted in Zillow Advice could be considered advertising, self promotional, or holding yourself out as being able to provide real estate services, it shouldn't be there. Agents should not be holding themselves out as being able to provide services on Zillow Advice. If a consumer wishes to contact you based on a comment you leave in Zillow Advice, they will click the link to your profile where all of the required information is provided. Until then, you are simply providing your two cents to Zillow's community."....
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(Above Explanation of Spam Posted by Rachel Rosen Zillow Community Relations Specialist Feb. 17 2011)
  • May 26 2011
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Profile picture for Jewel Stockli
It is most important. You need to be represented by a Buyer Broker or Buyer's Agent. The listing agent, on the ads, signs, and online listing ads represents the seller. You need someone to represent your best interests. You need someone to handle sharp negotiations and take careful steps, to ensure a good outcome, and a timely closing. Don't worry about extra costs the commision is paid by the seller. -Jewel Stockli, The Jewel of the Rock, Prudential Nw Properties [Self promotion removed by Zillow moderator.  Please refer to good neighbor policy.]
  • May 26 2011
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You don't have to ... but it is a wise idea
  • May 26 2011
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The reason Realtors say that there is no cost to the buyer is because the buyer will pay the same amount for the house whether they use a buyer agent or not. Commission is negotiated between seller and Realtor at the listing appointment. Typically, if the listing agent has both sides of the transaction they will take 1 percentage point less, but the overall benefit of the buyer not being represented goes to the listing agent and not the buyer.
  • May 26 2011
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Yes, required by NAR.

  • May 26 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
I really enjoyed and appreciated Robert Walker's comments and thee comments made by those members having a Discussion with him....

There does appear to be a Need for many Agents to reconfirm that Agents think you should use Agents and to fill the Room with Smoke about there being no cost to Buyers to use an Agent..




Zillow should have a Policy
  • May 26 2011
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wow...this question has more legs than a centipede.
  • May 26 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
No cost to you..LMAO

The old Seller pays the Commission Rigamarole...and the Seller gets the Money to pay the Commission from who/where?

Tell the Seller not to worry cause it's free for them..Factor the Commission into the Sales Price & the Buyer pays it..Don't worry Be Happy
Then tell the Buyer it's no cost/free for them because the Seller pays it..
Don't worry Be Happy

What amazes me more than anything is how Stupid many RE Agents think the Consumers (Their Potential Clients) are at a time when they are more informed than ever before...
It's not a Mystery or complicated...neither is the Lack of Credibility or the Image problem RE Agents have with the Public IMHO
  • May 26 2011
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I would highly recommend that you interview few real estate agents and hire one to represent you in buying a house.  I am a certified buyer's agent and one of the things that I provide to my clients is a detailed analysis of the current market where the property is located.  Our office does not charge a fee to a buyer, because we received compensation from the seller.  Let me know and best of luck.
  • May 26 2011
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Homedreamer1,


No, you do not have to have a buyer's agent to buy a house.  However, why wouldn't you?  There is no cost to you to have an agent represent you and your best interest.  I would recommend talking to a few in your area and decide on an agent that you like, trust and feel will represent your best interests.  Best of luck!

  • May 26 2011
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Profile picture for TriWest
I see many Buyer's who are content to go to open houses, drive neighborhoods, talk to all the listing agents, and then set appointments on the ones they want to see with each and every listing agent.

Many times, I have suggested how hard it is for me to keep up with the changes of price, and new properties coming into the market. And, this is what I do full time, for a living.

I suggest: I can save You time, give You Full Customer Reports through email, etc; help You find the best quality at the best price, while protecting You in the contract and also look out for You best interest for Here and Now, and the Future. Why? Because I am required to if you are my client!
  • May 25 2011
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Profile picture for blank screen EXILED
I thought it was definitely advisable to have someone fill out the contract offer form that could spell correctly most of the time...
  • May 25 2011
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It is not required, but it is definately advisable.
  • May 25 2011
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Profile picture for blank screen EXILED
"I am licensed to protect the public and I take that privilege serious." -

That means that you won't allow the buyer to be ripped off by the seller even if you are the listing agent, which means that any advice you give about whether the buyer might walk away, or accept something inferior is something you won't do regardless.

I still don't believe any agents do any "negotiations" on behalf of the client; but only presents what the client states.  And most of them will not take any liability for "negotiations" anyway as if the price is too high or low, or if the deal falls through, guess who would get the blame?

To me, it is worse than those Union negotiators that don't have any clue what the Union members really want.

And if a buyer wants to only approach FSBO and completely skip all agents, that is their prerogative.  And of course, the buyer also has the option of going to the probate auctions at the courthouse.  No agent is "needed".

And even if the listing agent refuses to provide duel agency, the listing agent is doing a disservice to their client by refusing to forward a valid written offer by someone that is only representing themself.  Yes, there is the question of the fee; but that can be negotiated.  And many listing agent's broker will just assign someone else in their office in that case anyway to avoid the duel agency issue.

And just think, if a buyer selected an agent that acted in a "typical" agent manner, than Robert gets to hear the case filed against the agent after the transaction...

The public's interest will never be protected as long as NAR is lobbying the federal and local governments, as long as NAR is backing political candidates, as long as NAR is disseminating distorted statistics, and as long as NAR is encouraging the propagation of misleading "talking points".  The public's interest cannot even be promoted until a large percentage of agents join a rival industry association to oppose the deceptions of the organization that has tried to maintain a strangle hold on the industry for decades.
  • May 25 2011
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Profile picture for hpvanc
"How am I suppose to negotiate the best price for either party if my hands are tied to be able to tell the Seller that I feel they Buyer will go higher and then tell the Buyer that I think the Seller will go lower? If I say that to either party I am in FULL VIOLATION of the Laws Regarding Agency."

Unfortunately, for me allowing an agent to suggest and interfere in this manner is in violation of my personal code of ethics, and actually accepting their advice on it if I have never been through a transaction or only one prior with them is far beyond my trust level, and their willingness to try to advice me in that manner destroys any possibility to develop that trust. 

"How can I tell either party of the strengths, weaknesses and financial status of either party to negotiate the best price?"

Revealing any more information to even your own agent than is absolutely necessary to complete the transaction is beyond stupid, especially to a person that feels it is acceptable play the role in the 1st quote.  I don't know if they are attempting to use those same techniques against me.

I guess I have major ethical and trust problems with the whole concept of agency.  Ethically and for the sake of trust the agents hands should be tied on those matters.  I stand by my lying, cheating stealing SOB comparison, and apparently agency law demands it.
  • May 25 2011
  • 1Yes

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I have had the opportunity to Represent both parties as a listing agent and strongly discourage it because I truly am to passionate in fighting for my client and tell others that I represent the seller and it is in their best interest to have their own representation. This is as the "Listing Agent."

Do you really think your agent can give it their all if they represent both parties?

Not unless they want to violate the laws of agency. How am I suppose to negotiate the best price for either party if my hands are tied to be able to tell the Seller that I feel they Buyer will go higher and then tell the Buyer that I think the Seller will go lower? If I say that to either party I am in FULL VIOLATION of the Laws Regarding Agency.

How can I tell the Buyer that I feel I can get the Seller to fix non-health and safety issues or tell the Seller not to worry about fixing the non-health and safety issues because I feel the Buyer will take it the way it is?

How can I tell either party of the strengths, weaknesses and financial status of either party to negotiate the best price?

As my client I owe all this to you, as a customer I owe you fairness.

Would I love to have both sides? You bet, but my ethics out rank my desires and my client's outcome is more important than mine.

Ethics and Real Estate Laws are not a Dog and Pony Show to me, and it shouldn't be for anyone else either. I am licensed to protect the public and I take that privilege serious.



  • May 25 2011
  • 1Yes

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Profile picture for blank screen EXILED
"Of course"?????

Do you understand the definition of the word "need"???

If Mr Jin Yang Young "NEEDS" representation, you better not let him buy by representing himself!!!!  He just stated he wasn't qualified to purchase anything on his own!  (He probably thinks he can't buy a pair of jeans, or a suit on his own either).
  • May 25 2011
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Yes. Of course. 
  • May 25 2011
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